No not the yellow stuff you put on hot dogs at your backyard barbecue, I am talking about the green plant that adds some spice to your salads and other dishes. If you like spice with your food then add some mustard to the garden. You will be surprised as to how easy it is to grow. Here is how you can grow this cool weather plant right in your own backyard home vegetable garden.
It is easier to grow mustard if you start your seeds indoors. Start your seeds about two to three weeks prior to the last frost. It is best to use a portable greenhouse or humidity dome as that will speed up germination to less than six days.
Your mustard will grow best if the pH level of your soil is between 5.5 and 7.0. You can easily obtain the pH level of your soil by using a soil testing kit available from any home or garden center for less than a few bucks.
When you move your mustard plants outside, make sure they are in a spot that receives full sun throughout the day and especially sun first thing in the morning. Moderate watering is all mustard will need in order to grow and thrive. Do not over water as that could cause decay in the root system, or even worse, mildew to build up on the leaves.
When the leaves of the plants are about three to four inches they are ready to be harvested. When they reach this size you can clip off individual leaves and let the plant grow. If you let them go to six to eight inches then you can harvest the entire plant. The choice is yours, one of the beauties of home vegetable gardening.
Good companion plants include: bush beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, onions, and potatoes, where as you should avoid following cabbage in a rotation. Pole beans and strawberries make terrible companion plants.
As you can see mustard is not all too difficult to grow. Just make sure you plant your mustard when the temperatures are cooler outside. Early to mid spring and early to late autumn should do.
About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available where gardening books are sold. Sign up for Mike’s vegetable gardening newsletter at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com and he will send you a free pack of vegetable seeds to get your garden started.
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